73 5

Did anyone suffer from depression or PTSD once leaving religion and deciding God wasn't real?

By Jama765
Options Favorite Like

73 comments

8

I was a Christian and Bible teacher for 30 years. In 2010 I had a crisis of faith which resulted in a breakdown and 4 months of suicidal thoughts. When you are a devout Christian and you conclude through logic and reason that 'God' is NOT all-loving , all-powerful and all-knowing, and that there will not be an afterlife of peace and love with friends and family, it is as traumatic as losing a loved one in death, a divorce, life-threatening illness or financial ruin. The psychologists and therapists who deal with loss of faith will tell you this.

CoastRiderBill Level 6 July 11, 2018
Reply
5

Yes but not from leaving religion, from the people in school and the town that bullied and shunned me for it

LadyAlyxandrea Level 8 July 11, 2018
Reply
5

No. I think I was more relieved than anything. No more kissing up to a god who supposedly died for my sins when I did nothing cause I wasn’t even born that time ago or always worrying about the damn devil, doing something wrong and going to hell. Now I just laugh at hell cause how ridiculous it is and also laugh at the pathetic man invented excuse for a god.

EmeraldJewel Level 7 July 11, 2018
Reply

Same.

5

And I find it rude for you to belittle someone for possibly suffering trauma in this situation.

Jama765 Level 5 July 10, 2018
Reply

I myself did not experience that. If she hasnt chimed in @VictoriaNotes usually has some good references related to this. It is more common than some might want to believe.

4

Religious Trauma Syndrome is a real thing. I don't think it comes from leaving religion as much as it comes from staying in it for so long. Just over two years ago (right before I began trauma therapy with a secular therapist) I was a complete and utter mess with it. For example, I had to drive down to a TMJ specialist in Mississippi that was supposedly an amazing doctor. The first three visits weren't too bad for me because his office played top 40 and R & B. Then on my fourth visit, as soon as I walked in the door, I heard "amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me?...." I had already driven a long ways to get there, so, I stayed. All I could do was cry. I could barely talk at all! I felt so violated, so exposed and vulnerable. It was as though someone smacked me on the back of my head. I kept trying to text, email and call a few atheists I knew for support. I sat under a loud TV, it was STILL all I heard because they had it so loud. I couldn't escape it and I got absolutely nothing accomplished in that visit with the specialist. I didn't expect them to play K-LOVE radio, complete with little sermonettes and scriptures between worship songs and contemporary Christian music.

Charity Level 6 July 20, 2018
Reply
4

For me it was like dropping a heavy burden. I felt like I had started a new life where I was in control and not some god or devil manipulating me.

MilitantAtheist Level 4 July 11, 2018
Reply
4

Going from religious & active in the church to agnostic was rough for me. Spent years beating myself up for my lack of faith. Then one day I realized that I was actually a full fledged atheist. That was a huge weight off my shoulders & I've felt great ever since!

PatrickC Level 4 July 10, 2018
Reply

Me too. I was a firm believer and then someone asked me one question that changed my entire life and world..people on here act like its nothing. But to me everyone that died when I believed in God had died again. I mourned their death all over. I was angry at my family for not giving me options to make my pwn conclusions as a child. Being brainwashed is a terrible thing and then for my while world to change was tough.

3

I just became angry at being lied to for so long. Then I became angry at people who can't or won't see the lies and come to the truth that is science.

RobbieT Level 4 July 15, 2018
Reply
3

Hell no! It was a huge weight off my shoulders. I felt alive.

Mystical Level 4 July 11, 2018
Reply
3

I didn't at first, but I'm going through some depression related to it now. I never realized how much comfort and security I received from believing that there was some grand plan to the universe, and that everything happened for a reason. When bad things happened, I found comfort in thinking that it was because I was being saved for something better. As I slowly walk away from my beliefs, this is one of the last ones to linger. It only lingers because I am afraid...I know this. However, knowing, and grokking, are two very different things. That's one of the reasons I joined this community, actually. I'm learning a lot from those of you who have gone through this before, and it's helping me.

Exterminis Level 6 July 11, 2018
Reply
3

I felt like the FOG (Fear, Obligation & Guilt) was lifted.

Humanity4all Level 6 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

I grew up as a presbyterian - was a fanatic as a teen as I was trying understand my dysfunctional family's behaviors/government/society's behavior, etc. Kept noticing the contradictions and got into many arguments with a lot of people through out the years. Took some Philosophy of Religion classed and met a lot of agnostics/atheists along the way. When I finally dropped religion in my 30's - I went into a panic mode because I was so used to praying to god. It took me several years to get used to not praying. Finally over the years, I noticed some conflicting information and switched to Scientific Pantheist. Felt much better once I embraced this as it validated my inner promptings/observation of life. It is a real "loss" of identity & "support system" and it's confusing and scary for some people with a dramatic change of "lifestyle" or mentality. I felt very alone. I wasn't depressed but panicky as I felt I lost a "friend" but learned I need a compassionate living breathing sane human friends for real moral support.

DeafGypsy Level 4 July 15, 2018
Reply
2

No, because I never believed it. The minute I was out from under the control of others, I dumped it.

MissKathleen Level 8 July 13, 2018
Reply
2

No, but l did stay in a Holiday Inn. That line is like "That's what she said," it works for so many things. 😊

Sticks48 Level 8 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

I was never really part of any religion, moving around the world I had different religious majorities surrounding me.. but there has been times I couldn’t help but wonder “would I be accepted more by the society if I was part of a religious group? Would I be less lonely?” Not the fact that -I no longer had the help/healing of prayers-.. I mean I’ve been getting shit done on my own as long as I can remember, I never feel the absence of an invisible helper smile001.gif but at times I feel like I’m discriminated because I don’t hide my identity, and the fact people who were once surrounding me would vanish after they “find out” does hurt every now and then.

AuroraBorealis Level 5 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

I will claim a depression following leaving the temple. My religion did me no harm; in fact it gave me the tools to leave it. My sadness was born of losing my community, my identity, all the traditions that I loved. Over 30 years later I can still feel that ache of loss on occasion.
Never going back. Not an option.

AmiSue Level 8 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

I can imagine that lots do, because their source of feel-good hormones that resulted from their delusion have been removed. It's not much different from a drug addiction.

Ellatynemouth Level 8 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

Haha. Seems like the core reason people invent religion.

Davethecave Level 7 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

I'm certain that many people suffer in such a way in these circumstances. I am also certain that it is a result of having relied on reasoning pattern that we are both taught and intuit: cause-effect. We grow up believing that every action or situation is the effect of a cause, and if one were to sit down and begin to trace that chain of relationships, one inevitably arrives at the conclusion that the chain must go on and on and on, ad infinitum, so at that point the mind tries to simplify by concluding that there must be one, priime cause for everything, thus allowing us to be satisfied with something we can deal with. For billions of prople that prime mover, the cause of everything, even the outcome of athletic contests, is believed to be God, who is given numerous other names by different peoples. Soon after this conclusion, we begin to ascribe everything to this mystical entity, believing that every aspect of or lives is somehow controlled by this God. Ultimately, this leads to the abandonment of wat is commonly referred to as "self-reliance," in favor of both crediting and blaming everything to this mystical force that , in point of fact, have actually created and to whom we have put off on every part and portion even of our daily lives. When one discovers the truth of this situation, it involves having suddenly to take responsibility for one's life, a daunting task indeed. Not having that ultimate cause to fall back on is a hard pill to swallow. It is a natural feature of human nature to try to shift responsibility from themselves to someone or some thing outside oneself. Infinity is not so easy to deal with, so human beings intuitvely look for something to tidy up the problem. thus we come up such ideas as, "everything happens for a reason." Losing that "crutch" can understandably result in feeling depressed, confused, and looking for something to replace the old beliefs. As The great, Greek playwright and philosopher, Sophocles, wrote, “Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day.”

arbusto Level 3 July 11, 2018
Reply
2

There is a group called "Recovering From Religion" that may help those suffering from "post-belief PTSD".

Imatheistically Level 5 July 11, 2018
Reply

I've actually looked them up. Unfortunately there isn't a group near me..

@Jama765 I think they have online connections also. I volunteered to be one of their "online" counselors a few years ago.

2

No, I suffered from PTSD long before I doubted God’s existence. LOL!😂

yogafan108 Level 7 July 10, 2018
Reply
1

I deff think stress. Family issues, long time friends....raising a child with a mother that is a barely functioning/educated Catholic. I think it was too gradual for me to be trama. Maybe if I were younger when it happened.

BarkRuffalo Level 5 July 23, 2018
Reply
1

Yes. I had to take depression medicine for a while, for the first time in my life. I went through a tailspin phrase, for sure.

BackToReality Level 6 July 22, 2018
Reply

I'm going thru several stages. It is tough, but I know ill be better once I heal..

1

Perhaps a little despondent, but I wouldn't be too quick to label it as depression.

Didn't last too long. A few months of pondering reality and the lack of a god.

UngodlyPete Level 4 July 20, 2018
Reply
1

Quite the opposite.

nvrnuff Level 7 July 15, 2018
Reply
Write Comment
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer
  • Agnostic.comis the largest non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others happy without religion!